Posts Tagged ‘children’

Happy children

August 1, 2016

Back in the 1970s and 80s the Market Lavington Church Fete was a garden based fete, often at Beech House. A children’s entertainer was laid on and here we see the 1976 children watching the unknown 1976 entertainer. And we see almost universally, the smiling faces of happy children.

Happy children iat a Market Lavington Church Fete in 1976

Happy children at a Market Lavington Church Fete in 1976


Some of us think it is sad that these days children might expect something on an altogether grander scale. They are spoiled by seeing the biggest and the best on TV.

Let’s move forward almost twenty years to a time when some of the 1976 youngsters would have been in their early twenties and thus could have had babes or toddlers to take to similar events. And here is a local event for children.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of VE day in 1995

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of VE day in 1995

This is clearly a patriotic event – note the union jack hats and face painting. There looks to be more an expression of awe and wonder on many of these faces but the unknown entertainer is clearly holding the interest.

We don’t have the precise location for we only have a negative for this image. Other negatives in the set definitely show diners at a 1945 VE day celebration meal so we assume this was taken on that day.


Happy adults as well!

This one shows Peggy, our museum founder, (wearing green) tucking into her meal of corned beef and mash.


Dancing at the fête

August 11, 2015

Here we have a charming scene from 55 years ago. In about 1960 children were entertaining at the fête at Clyffe Hall by doing some country dancing. This photo was given to the museum by Mrs Elisha. Perhaps she had been responsible for organising the children.

School children dancing at a Clyffe Hall based fête in about 1960

School children dancing at a Clyffe Hall based fête in about 1960

Of course, we have no names but surely a reader will recognise some of those youngsters. Let’s zoom in on them.



From left to right: Patsy George, not yet identified, Susan Giddings, Brenda Stevens, Mary Bishop, not yet identified, Christine Ashley bending down.



From left to right: not yet identified, Stella Dark, Jenny Danton, Gerald Oram, remainder not yet identified

We can be reminded that back in 1960 children were still able to be children. We can note that they are not wearing clothes like those the adults have on. Mind you, from the look of the adults it was a chilly day. Maybe those children would feel in need of wearing something warmer when the dancing stopped.

Do get in touch if you can name these young folks.

Easterton School – 1928

March 6, 2014

Photos like today’s make us realise we have a huge amount to learn. This picture, taken just about within living memory, has but one named person. The photo was given to the museum by that person’s daughter and it shows members of Easterton School in 1928.

Easterton School children in 1928

Easterton School children in 1928

There appear to be some 40 youngsters. Some – they’d be approaching 90 – could be alive today. Many will have children who might recognise them. There are, no doubt, dozens of grandchildren who may realise one of the people in the photo is their ancestor. There are, no doubt, plenty of great grandchildren as well.

Our one named person is the smart chap at the left hand end of the middle row. He is Ralph Maule who became a baker and tradesman in Easterton. Of course, we’d like to hear from anyone who can name other children here so let’s zoom in a bit to make faces clearer.

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Broadwell in the 1950s

December 27, 2013

Broadwell – always pronounced by locals as two distinct words with an emphasis on ‘well’ – was the main water supply for Market Lavington. As late as the 1930s people came down to the spring with their bucket to collect the wholesome water which flowed out from the downs there.  Some people continued to use this source as their water supply until after World War II, believing it to be better than water piped to houses.

But it was also always a playground for children. Youngsters, it seems, only have to look at a stream to start pondering on how to build a little dam across it. Youngsters also love paddling, playing with boats or even playing the game invented by A A Milne of Pooh Sticks.

Our photo today shows Broadwell in the 1950s with some youngsters who are just messing about in or by the water.

A 1950s view of Broadwell, White Street, Market Lavington

A 1950s view of Broadwell, White Street, Market Lavington

The scene is recognisably the same now although there have been many changes. The upper pond is no longer fenced. It used to be to ensure humans could get clean water from there whilst animals had to get their vital liquid from points below that fenced area.

The little wood, fenced off by palings, was felled in the 1960s, apparently it was deemed unsafe. A young children’s play area was constructed, very much with a 1960s space age theme. That play area, devoid of safety precautions has been replaced by the present one.

The little concrete footbridge in the foreground had been built as an alternative to the ford where the nearer group of boys are playing. It is still there.

The big change, though, is that these days the area is a car park and normally has a goodly collection of vehicles in that area to the left of the water.

It’s a charming scene, redolent of that age of innocence, when children were allowed to be young and to have a bit of their own fun.

Nursery Rhyme Characters

August 19, 2013

This photo dates from about 1925/6 and shows local children dressed as nursery rhyme characters.

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

Market Lavington children as nursery rhyme characters in about 1925/26

This photo comes from the memories of Sybil Perry who was a Market Lavington resident from 1924 to 1994 and who continued to be a village enthusiast until her death in 2010.

Standing from left to right we have: Bessie Gye, Connie Case, Iris Burgess, John King, Philip Phillips, Edith Potter, Ted Drury, Victor Gibbons and Joan Bullock.

In front from the left we have: Mary Notton, Hubert Francis, Henry (Harry) Cooper – he’s the one lying down), Tom Gye and Sybil Baker – who became Sybil Perry.

As this is a long, thin photo we’ll split it into two so that we can see the youngsters that bit better.



Any of these people still alive will be well into their 90s by now. Maybe there are descendants who could tell us more about them.

Another photo of the Burgess Brothers

June 18, 2013

Yes, we have seen photos of Burgess brothers before – and no wonder. Their father, Alfred, was the village photographer. But here we have a delightful photo which was both decorative and served a function, for it was used as a part of a fire screen.


Decoration used as part of a fire screen by the Burgess family of 13 High Street, Market Lavington

Decoration used as part of a fire screen by the Burgess family of 13 High Street, Market Lavington

The photo, we believe, is of two of Alfred and Marion Burgess’s sons. It has been produced in triangular form and decorated with flowers – a bit reminiscent of floraldecorations by canal boatmen. Sadly, one corner of the triangle has been lost, but it still makes an attreactive device.

Of course, with a little digital jiggery-pokery we can reconstruct the corner. We have cut and copied the bottom right hand corner and rotated it. If we spent hours, no doubt a better job could be done. We would not, normally, go in for reconstruction of the original

A little digital repair has been carried out.

A little digital repair has been carried out.

As to the date of this, there are a few options. On the back of the photo the date 31 08 09 is written. If that date is correct, then these look to be the youngest sons, Alan and Charles, born in about 1898 and 1900 respectively.

However, there is also a suggestion that the photo shows the oldest two boys, Robin and George who were born around 1880. If that is the case then the photo is older.

Let’s finish with a close up of the lads. There are family members who will, we hope, be able to sort us out on the identities.

Two Burgess brothers of Market Lavington - but which two?

Two Burgess brothers of Market Lavington – but which two?

Please do get in touch if you can help us.

Play Time

March 27, 2013

We may not have seen much sunshine recently but Market Lavington has been lucky when compared with other parts of the country. We have had very little spring snow and, so far, we have avoided any power cuts. However, it has been bitingly cold, so it’s time to look at a happy time when people felt able to appear in summer weight clothing.

This photo dates from the early 1930s.

A group of Market Lavington youngsters in a play put on in the early 1930s

A group of Market Lavington youngsters in a play put on in the early 1930s

We do not know the event, but children’s plays like this were popular in those pre TV days. There are 16 girls, all dressed in the same fashion, and one other child dressed as a black bird of some kind. We have some of the names.

The four taller girls at the back are (left to right) Linda Shepperd, Sybil Baker, Gwen Phillips and Vilna Oatley

There are six girls standing just in front of the back four and they are unknown, Marjory Milsom, unknown, unknown, Vera Ellis and Rene Davis.

The five kneeling girls are Phyllis Halswell, Sylvia Cooper, unknown, Jean Davis and Cynthia Draper.

The bird has not been identified.

We have a copy of an original photo which had been folded – hence the line down the middle.

Let’s just pick on one of the girls – Gwen Phillips.


Gwendoline E Phillips was born in 1922. Her parents were Arthur and Emily (née Pocock). We have looked at their golden wedding before on this blog (click here). Gwen would have been raised at the former hardware shop, opposite the Co-op.

Gwen married a Mr Davis, we think in 1943. Their children had births registered in the Devizes area but, according to that 1970 Golden Wedding report about Gwen’s parents, The Davis family then lived in Calne.

As ever, we’d love to know more about the people in this photograph.

The Runaway Husband

January 31, 2013

The year is 1921. Young Ena Gye has written a play to be performed by her friends and family. It is called The Runaway Husband. Perhaps Ena, who was seven at the time, based this on some real life experience. Doting parents took a photo – or arranged for one to be taken.

'The Runaway Husband' - a 1921 play performed by The Gye children and their friends in Market Lavington

‘The Runaway Husband’ – a 1921 play performed by The Gye children and their friends in Market Lavington

What a charming tableau. Apart from the children – we’ll return to them – take a moment to admire the footlights.

The wonderful glass candle holder footlights. I wonder what became of them.

The wonderful glass candle holder footlights. I wonder what became of them.

Small jars which look to be different colours, hang from a string. They probably contained night lights and would surely have looked very pretty.

But back to the children.

lose up on the children

Close up on the children

These are well captioned on the reverse of the card.


A well captioned card. We know who all of the children are!

So, standing from left to right we have Eric James, Ruth Mundy, Winnie Mundy, Tom Gye (the baby) and Ena Gye taking the part of the runaway husband. Nancy Merritt sits in the middle and the other sitters, from left to right are Keniel Poolman, Bessie Gye and Ellie Gye.

We have looked at the Gyes and their cousin Eric James in the past, so let’s consider the friends this time.

Winnie Mundy was an incomer. She had been born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire in 1907. Her parents, Arthur and Margaret (née Burgin) had married there the year before. But in 1911 the family were in Market Lavington where Arthur was a bricklayer.

We think Ruth Mundy is little sister. Certainly Arthur and Margaret had another daughter in 1912 in the Devizes area so probably in Market Lavington. One letter of the record is difficult to read but the lass appears to have been named Sarah R I Mundy. So maybe she was known by Ruth – the R word. Unfortunately it is the R which is the blurred letter.

We are less sure about Nancy Merritt. A girl with that name was born in Farnham in Hampshire in 1912 which could be the right age for the girl in the photo. But here was a large Merritt family who lived close to the Gyes. It seems likely that Nancy was one of them.

Keniel Poolman was the child of Andrew and Rose (née Polden). He was registered as Jacob J K Poolman after his 1918 birth. We know that the Poolmans lived near the Gyes on White Street in Market Lavington.

A Children’s Tableau

July 27, 2012

Ethel Gye was a great collector of costume. Her son, Tom, recalls that at Carnival time, his mum was in demand as a provider of outfits. She was also keen on setting up little dramas and tableaux, featuring village children. Today we see a tableau which appears to be on the terrace at the Manor House. We think it dates from around 1950.

Tableau on the terrace at Market Lavington Manor in about 1950

We have the names of all of the girls.

Standing (left to right); Mary Burt (became Mary Sainsbury), Valerie Preedy, Rosalie Hayball, Susan Dark, Georgina Jilkes Ruby Hiscock, Janet Saxton, Janet Burt.

Kneeling (left to right); Maureen Gibbs (became Maureen Mullen), Daphne Arnold (became Daphne Little), Georgina Gibbs (became Georgina Nutland).

Rosalia Hayball has provided us with an oral history about her time as a youngster in Mr Hayball’s shop. This can be heard if you ask at the museum.

Robin Hood

June 23, 2012

Tales of the outlaw of Sherwood Forest have been popular for a very long time. No wonder local drama groups set up an event featuring Robin Hood and his merry men and women.

Cast of ‘Robin Hood’, probably in the mid 1920s. This photo is at Market Lavington Museum

This is one of the wonderfully well documented photos in terms of names, although we do not have a date. Here’s a copy of the photo with each person numbered.

And here’s the list of who is who.

  • 1 Ellie Gye
  • 2 Ethel Cooper
  • 3 Marjorie Burgess
  • 4 Mary George
  • 5 Lily Shepherd
  • 6 Cherry Hoddinott
  • 7 Winnie Mundy
  • 8 May Bullock
  • 9 Ena Gye
  • 10 Maisey Kiddle
  • 11 Ivy Pomeroy
  • 12 Vi Dunford
  • 13 Cyril Arnold
  • 14 Doreen Ashley
  • 15 Mabel Shepherd
  • 16 Edie Potter
  • 17 Rene Cooper
  • 18 Eric James
  • 19 Vi Davis
  • 20 Annie Buckland
  • 21 Edith Perry
  • 22 Marjory Pomeroy
  • 23 Lucie Potter
  • 24 Eileen Baker
  • 25 Jack George
  • 26 Ern Raisy
  • 27 Jack Davis
  • 28 Jack Saxton

To help us date the picture  we have picked on number 25 – Jack George.

Jack George was born in 1914 at Market Lavington. His father was manager of the brickworks.

There’s Jack who was born in 1914. From that we feel the photo dates from the mid 1920s.

Of course, we always like to know more about residents of Market Lavington and Easterton. Do get in touch if you can tell us more about these people.